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milkandhoney last won the day on March 26 2018

milkandhoney had the most liked content!

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About milkandhoney

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  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Semi Commercial


  • Location
    Hawkes Bay

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  1. Yes. Bottom box, excluder, super then division board. Second brood box with Queen above that. No, I don't want her laying in the honey super, that goes back up on top when the hive is recombined.
  2. I use the vertical split method every spring, I started doing it when I didn't want any more hives. I usually carry it out in late Sept/early Oct. My version goes: Bottom brood box with brood and eggs, then a Super, then Hive mat with opening to rear of hive, Top brood box with Queen and plenty of pollen and honey. If the hive is really cranking, I will put another queen excluder and Super on top of this also. The original foragers return to the bottom box and fill the lower super with honey. There is plenty of feed coming in and the hive produces good quality emergency cells. The hive is not overcrowded and the resulting virgin queens scrap it out rather than swarm. You can of course go back later and remove surplus emergency cells if you prefer. I did that in the first couple of years but decided the extra time wasn't worth it. If I'm lucky and the Spring weather gods smile on us, some of these virgin girls mate and turn into decent queens which I take out and use elsewhere, otherwise they get squished. Either way, one month later I remove the queens from the bottom boxes and recombine the hive with newspaper. The hive mat with the rear entrance gets put on the top of the hive (so the forages from the top box can get back in). At this point the top brood box has a very healthy population because the queen has been getting on with business upstairs. The bottom brood box has heaps of laying room and the hive typically has masses of bees. Timed correctly I end up with stonking big production hives ready for the main flow. As a system it requires only an extra hive mat per hive, rather than all the gear needed for a true split. It also means that you manage the number of hives you have, rather than ending up with more than you can provide forage for. (I have never sold hives, there are already too many).
  3. We used Crimson Clover on our road frontage last year and it has just started flowering again this spring, it has a lovely deep red flower. We have oversown the same area with Phacelia and white clover this year as well to mix it up a bit. Got a lot of funny looks and toots from the neighbours as we were out there with the rotary hoe last spring, sowing the long acre!
  4. https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/early-edition/audio/jim-mcmillan-nz-produced-manuka-honey-to-retail-for-2700-at-londons-harrods/
  5. Typically a wet interior over winter is due to condensation. Warm air from the cluster meeting a cold hive mat or the roof of a corflute nuc. I use polystyrene under all our sprung lids and on top of over wintered corflute nucs. Also tipping the hive/nuc slightly forward helps any water in the base to drain out so it doesn't puddle on the hive base.
  6. Unfortunately Bees are not my only livestock. I also farm sheep, cattle and goats. Tutu has killed an awful lot of livestock in this country over the years.
  7. Chelifers are generalist predators, much like common ladybirds. Yes they sometimes eat Varroa destructor, sometimes Psocoptera (booklice) and sometimes other things that stay still long enough! They require diversity, which is distinctly lacking inside a beehive. The most effect biocontrol agents are host specific. I agree totally with @john berry that our research funds should be targeting specific parasitic species. A parasite that attacks Scolypopa would be great. Better yet something that eats the damn Tutu Shrubs. That said, it pays to remember that no biocontrol agent will totally eliminate their host, as that would be self defeating.
  8. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/113273321/comvita-head-to-step-down-following-industry-downturn
  9. Yes I meant silicone mats. I can only dream of the Alfranseder
  10. I have just bought a silicone press to try (for fun), which I bought from Thornes in the UK. I doubt the cost effectiveness but thought it would be something else to play with. Is yours a flexible one or solid?
  11. Hi CHCHPaul, Yes I believe the kits to be very useful. I always carry one with the rest of my gear just in case. I have only twice had to use them but for the price it is well worth the reassurance. Commonsense and visual observation will always be the most important, but for an extra layer of certainty, you can beat that easy little test. Excellent video!
  12. As per @Trevor Gillbanks except that we use Beequik to clear our boxes. We too have tried blowing and believe it to be a recipe for robbing. We check for AFB one day and sort frames so that there are the correct number per box and they are all capped as per our supplier agreement. The following day, we remove all the supers from two hives and stack them beside them, as you would for a normal hive check. We place an empty super on each hive, and then place one full super on top and add the fume boards. The bees move down in to the empty super and the brood boxes below. (We have two fume boards on the go at a time, so that we can remove a box from one hive and then one from another, if that makes sense.) As the cleared supers are stacked on the trailer, they are covered with a slightly damp drop cloth. (We are not sure why but we have found that wetting the cloth seems to reduce the number of bees that try to get into the supers on the trailer.) Once all the full supers are removed, we back fill the empty super with any uncapped/partially filled frames or foundation frames. You don't have to have a fume board, at a pinch we have just used a piece of sacking cut to size and sprayed with Beequik and laid on top of the Super you want cleared. The bees move quietly down into their respective hives and stay calm, albeit that a lot will end up out the front of the hive due to general congestion.
  13. One of my apiaries which is normally in pasture has been sown in Squash. Can anyone tell me what the honey will be like?
  14. Thank you @Frederick for the effort you have put into contacting Commercial beekeepers and for the feedback you have provided. Solid information on the attitudes of other beekeepers is critically important for future decision making in the industry. Stating the obvious perhaps, but this is I believe, where ApiNZ are failing. I too hoped that a single representative industry body would provide a vehicle for cohesive industry growth. A body that would reinforce the need for good beekeeping ethics, disseminate information and ultimately act to manage revenue streams for industry good. Now I fear that we have another quasi-representative organisation that really does not have a mandate to act. Surely those ApiNZ board members who are long time commercial beekeepers understand the need to gain grassroots support before trying foist another cost onto the sector. I understand that is why these regional meetings are being held, to gauge support or otherwise for the proposal, but perhaps going forward it would be better to survey the beekeeping community first and then develop proposals from the response. Let's get these ideas out into the public forum where we may just find some innovative ways to tackle old problems.
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